When I got home, I realized I hadn't even thought about what I would wear tomorrow. I know it probably seems silly, but if I have to face tomorrow, I want to look at least decent. I started to stress about it. I've gained a lot of weight this last year and figuring out what to wear is stressful enough without it being for such a significant event. I figured out some options and then planned to head out and run some errands. It takes me forever to get out of the house lately. I walk around forgetting what i'm doing or what i'm looking for. I go upstairs and forget by the time I get there why I went. I can barely finish one simple thought, forget pulling everything together to leave the house. So, I got out a little late.
I got a call as I was driving from the One Fund. The man on the phone wanted to know information about me for the Tribute. He asked who sent me an invite and when I told him it was the Boston Public Health Commission, he told me that they may not have tickets for me. I said I had RSVP'd and that they confirmed I had tickets reserved. He said that even though I sent that back, that there was priority on who got them. Well, I went into full anxiety mode and started yelling at him. I told him that I was told not once, but twice that I had tickets and since I hadn't received them in the mail for some reason, they were holding them at will call. He then tried to tell me that there would be an "overflow" room for "spectators" that I may be able to get into. Well, I lost it. I told him I would not sit in another room, that I was there last marathon and I was going to sit with my friends. All I could think was that here I was, so deeply affected by that day and there would be people in that room that hadn't been there that day. It would be one thing if it was ALL survivors and this affected and some of us together had to be in another room (still wouldn't be okay). I was in full anger so I even said I would call the Mayor's office about it. I'm not one to play that card, but I was so angry, upset, and feeling like all I'd been planning for, a day to be with my "marathon family" was now coming undone. He told me he'd call me back.
I did call a friend at City Hall to see if he could help me and he told me to call him back in an hour. Turns out he was even considering offering me his own ticket. I went to meditation group which was not so serene for me. I even started to calm down in a mediation, but sirens started going outside and took me right out of that calmer moment. I had to leave early to make it back to another support group. When I got out, I and a voicemail from a woman at the One Fund saying they would have tickets for me at will call. All of that, that interruption in my numb feeling that I was riding as long as I could. It takes one thing.
I got to Spaulding for group right before it started. I was technically there as a "guest" since it's for "injured only", which to be honest, can be a little frustrating, but I'm just happy to be there. I wanted to go this night because some of the Semper Fi Fund people would be there and they'd been so helpful before. Also, I wanted to be with these people I've gotten so close with tonight. I needed it. Menino and Mayor Walsh were coming as well.
We all sat down and had some great food, which was good since I also forget to eat most of the time. My leg shook like crazy. I felt uneasy. I had made friends with maybe half of the people in the room, but still didn't know the other half. I also sometimes question if I belong since I "Just have PTSD". We had to go around and introduce ourselves. I kept saying in my head that I'd say my name and hand the mic along. I didn't want to speak. But, when it got to me I told the room how thankful I was to have these friends and the way the welcomed me. I said I hadn't had it for so long and now that I do, it's helpful and I appreciate it. I felt like I wanted to throw up talking. Those next to me rubbed my back, gave me a hug, or others gave me a look from across the room to let me know it was okay. A minute later, I felt the need to get some air in the hall.
Talking to someone else, who came out to let me know they relate to what was happening to me with the shaking and everything, helped the tightness in my chest. We went back in and the Mayor was speaking. I sat down and kept shaking. I felt a little awkward considering there were some of the Mayor's staff that I don't believe knew I was at the marathon last year. As I shook and cried, I felt uneasy about it. I got emotional if the topic of "not feeling like you anymore" came up. I've talked about that before and anyone who has been reading knows that is one of the biggest struggles for me.
But, in the end, I got hugs from them and from so many others in the room that I was reminded of why I love to be with these people. They are the ones who, when they notice you shaking or having a "moment" of emotion or just a look on your face, will pull you close or ask if you need anything. They will cheer you up or let you have your moment while they stand there, close by so you know you're supported. They are the people who I could call and they would understand and help me if I needed it. This a beautiful community to be a part of. It is how I will continue to heal. We relate to each other, we have grown to love each other, and we will continue to spend time together, doing happy things and being okay if anyone needs to have a cry, have a breakdown, or some shaking. My friends and family will help me through, but my "marathon family" will be a large part of my healing from here forward.
Tomorrow, I will be with these people all day. We will go to the Tribute and my uncle will join me. I wanted someone to sit with me, that could stay strong and I could lean of if needed for the Tribute. After, some may walk to the Finish line for that ceremony, we will attend a reception, and lastly we will end our day together at someone's house. We will laugh, we will cry, we will shake, but we will all be there for each other every minute of the day. We will help each other take back the 15th of April and be reminded of how supported we are and how we are not alone. It will not be an easy day. It may never be an easy day, but tomorrow will be the hardest. We still have another very difficult day to get through after this. But, for tomorrow we will let it all come. We will face it together.
One more sleep (or more likely, not so much sleep). Let's do this.